So. Where do I start?
I feel like this is a typical “but mom, I can explain” moment. Except, I’m not actually in trouble.
In October 2021, I had enough going on in my life: I had just moved to Amsterdam to start a new internship and a freelance gig. Essentially, I had just settled abroad, which was my biggest goal of 2021. And then.
Some of you might be aware of the Working Holiday Visa (WHV), usually obtained by young people who want to do a gap year abroad to go farming in Australia or travel around New Zealand, for instance. I became aware of it during COVID, when these programs were put on hold worldwide. As an Italian citizen, I was eligible to apply for a WHV to go to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. However, the country I was most eager to move to was Canada, which, unfortunately, happened to have taken a very strict approach in limiting incoming travel.
But back to October 2021.
The International Experience Canada (IEC) program started again in September 2021, and a month later I received the much-awaited Invitation to Apply (ITA) to the Working Holiday Visa, the first step to moving temporarily to Canada on an open work permit. In a month, I gathered and submitted all of the necessary documents, paid my fees, did my biometrics in Den Haag, and on November 24th, 2021, I finally received my Port of Entry (POE) letter, that, as soon as I arrive I Canada, will allow me to activate my visa.
Up to here, all good, right? But here’s the catch.
All nationalities can work for up to 12 or 24 months–except for Italians. Italians can only work for 6 months, for some reason (I’m guessing because the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs who signed the deal wasn’t that smart). And though in December 2020 people started talking about a potential extension of this work permit for Italians, I found out only after I received my POE that the deal hadn’t been implemented, and Italians were only still allowed to work no more than 6 months.
Having taken this work opportunity very seriously, I am now looking for a job that will translate into a work sponsorship after the first 6 months–but it’s hard. It’s challenging and, as I’m writing this, I definitely do not have everything figured out. Yet.
This is the start of a new journey and I’m excited to take you guys with me!
Toronto, here I come🇨🇦